This month started on a sour note. I almost quit my job last week.
Quit as in, throw my keys down on the manager's desk and walk out in the middle of a shift without a new job to go to. Which is completely out of character for me, but there's a limit to the emotional abuse one person can or should take at a job.
I won't go into details, but the assistant manager (one step above me on the chain of authority) is the most narcissistic, awful bully I've ever had the misfortune to know. I'm not exaggerating when I say he's probably leaning towards being a sociopath. The general manager, the one person in the store with authority over him, is a weak, easily influenced woman who avoids confrontation and ends up getting railroaded by this guy, too. A group of us, myself and the other merchandise manager, the community relations manager, and a handful of other people have started taking actual written notes of incidents when he mistreats us so we'll have documentation if we eventually end up going to HR. That's how bad things have gotten.
But back to last week. I experienced some really awful treatment and suddenly I was at the end of my rope. Just......done. I called my husband in tears and told him I was about to leave, that I had had enough of this shit and didn't plan to take it for another minute. He talked me down by saying that I shouldn't make such a huge decision when I was so emotional, and advised coming home and sleeping on it for a night before deciding. It was sensible advice and saved me from making a mistake, but a tiny part of me regrets not walking out in a blaze of righteous fury, never to return to that hateful, toxic environment ever again! But I'd have regretted being without an income and health insurance even more. Not to mention it's just not the right thing to do.
I did go confront the store manager that next time I saw her, and informed her that half the staff are documenting the ASM's abusive behavior. If it's not addressed, we'll have to go to HR. I told her how close I was to walking out the other night, and she stared at her feet and said, in a small voice, "Please don't do that." Since then, the jerk's behavior to me has been cold and aloof, which is just fine with me. He's leaving me strictly alone and that's a huge relief. And since I have the support of over half the staff who get treated the same way (the other half are too new to have experienced his abuse.....it should be no surprise that we have huge employee turnover) I don't feel completely powerless. Still, I dread going to work every single day and so do several other people there. It's such a shame, too, because we all agree that as retail jobs go ours can be pretty fun at times and most of us like each other.
Oh well, as Gregg keeps reminding me, if I keep up the serious job search, sooner or later the right position will come along and I'll get it. Then I can close the door on this chapter of my life and move on. What a happy day that will be!
Speaking of the job hunt, I'm about to begin a volunteer position with a non profit organization that I'm super excited about! It's called Reach Out and Read Carolinas. On Wednesday I'll be attending my first meeting of the Community Advisory Board for ROAR at McLeod Hospital here in Florence. McLeod pediatricians work with them to promote early literacy (reading with babies and toddlers) for improved cognitive development of their patients. Not only do I have a lot of affection for this organization and will be proud to do volunteer work with them, but I'm hoping to make my resume a bit more attractive and to demonstrate that I'm more well-rounded than my many years of retail management would suggest. I have a degree in Human Services, after all, but haven't had much opportunity to use it. And who knows where a volunteer position doing something I love might lead?
Somewhere good, I hope.